Tuesday, January 15, 2013

February (2012 looking back)

       Where to begin? February was a month of extreme highs and lows. Towards the end of January and the beginning of February, I finally “pulled up my big girl panties” and got over the impending deployment. It was coming, and there was nothing I could do to change it! It was going to happen, so it was time to go ahead with my life.

       Once that FINALLY made sense to me, and seeped it’s way into my thick noggin, I was o.k. That’s really all I needed, was to come to terms with it! I remember it hit me out of nowhere. It was like a light bulb going off over my (thick) head! I was cooking dinner, and being all “Woe is me, my husband is leaving.. waaah.” And, all of sudden, I was like “GET OVER IT! Make the best of it! Quit yer bitchin’ and enjoy the time you have left!” 
So, that’s what I did.

       We spent a lot of our weekends in February going on dates for lunch, out for dinner, and celebrating our very first Valentine’s Day together!
       My attitude changed, basically overnight. Instead of being sad that he was supposed to leave only a few short weeks later, I was thankful that he was able to be there while he could! I also realized that whether he knew it or not, MY attitude had so much to do with not only how I felt, but also how he seemed to feel. It also set the tone for how everyone around me would take the deployment too. I didn’t want to make him any sadder about having to leave me behind! There was no reason in the world to worry him anymore about anything at home, so that’s what I set out to do, keep things together, no matter what.

       That attitude adjustment, that I gave myself that night in February, literally shaped my entire year for the better. I could pull this off.

       The end of February rolled around, and it was time to experience my first “see you later” as we call them in the military. (It’s never a good-bye!)

       We talked about it, and decided not to let too many people know when he was leaving, for not only OPSEC (safety guidelines of what you’re allowed to say online and to other people before, during and after a deployment) but also so we could keep the experience of him leaving somewhat controlled and calm.

       The night he left, we both just put down our phones, computers, and anything else distracting and just focused on spending our last little bit of time together! It would be the last time for MONTHS that he would get to sit there on that couch, in our living room with me, so we savored every last moment!

       It was nasty outside and raining and sleeting pretty heavily the night he left. (how appropriate!)
I knew almost NOTHING about how sending them off goes. I didn’t know how they left, what to do, where to be, I was brand spanking new to all of this craziness.

       When he left it all happened really fast, but it’s something I’ll never forget. When they called his name, and we walked over to the bus, I realized I had NO CLUE what I was going to say. I hadn’t even thought of it, with everything crazy going on! But, true to form, he knew just what to say to make the situation a little better. I kissed him one “last” time, and then yanked him back to give him one more. I remember holding onto his hand until the very. last. second. that I could, until we had to let go. I looked down and saw our hands break apart. That was the last time I would see him in person or touch him for 8 months.

       Somehow, I didn’t cry when he left, even though I wanted to. It started raining again, after they put them all on the bus. As I was waiting, I saw a little girl (probably no more than 4 years old) saying “Goodbye” to her Daddy. Her mom had to basically pull her off of her Dad, and in between sobs I heard her crying that she didn’t want her Daddy to leave. As her mom walked away with the little girl crying over her shoulder, the little girl stopped, looked at me and waved! I smiled back, and waved, and in that moment, I was like, “I can do this. If she can do it, I can.” It’s funny how little moments can change your attitude.

       That night I also got a good laugh out of the fact that my husband was assigned to ride in the ONLY UK blue bus out of the 8-10 busses that were there! 
Of course he would be in that one.

       February was really a month about growing up and learning what it meant to “pull up my big girl panties and deal with it”. I still feel pretty awesome that I handled all of that by myself. I didn’t have any friends or family there with me when I watched the busses pull away for the first time with my husband. I didn’t have anyone to walk with when I went back to my car alone, or anyone to ride with me all the way home in the middle of the night. I sent him off, drove home, spent the first night by myself in our new home, in a new state, and did it all without breaking down and crying. It would have been perfectly acceptable to break down and cry of course, but I chose not to. It’s an accomplishment and an experience I am proud of. J

       February was one of those months, where during it, you think 
because things just aren’t going necessarily the way you planned. I had to give up all my control, send my husband to war, and start to learn to handle things on my own in a new place! But, now, looking back, it was a month that held experiences that really shaped our marriage, shaped my outlook on life, and made me grow the hell up.

It was rough, but I’m thankful we went through it!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

January (2012 looking back)

Ohhh January.

To talk about January, I have to go back to December for a few minutes.
December was the month, where we were adjusting to our new home in NC as well as shuttling back and forth all over for Christmas celebrations. It was SO nice to get to travel home and see everyone, but it was also very exhausting for the both of us. It was one of those things where you literally have a BLAST while you are doing it, but feel totally drained afterwards. 
(Don't believe me? It took me six, yes SIX posts to recap all we did during our little two week break!! We really had so much fun, we visited all our family, went to UK basketball games, and just acted like hoodlums in general. It was pretty awesome... you can read them here: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6)

Apart from all the fun we had, it was the last visit most family and friends would have with my husband and me before he left for Afghanistan
Of course, (and understandably) everywhere we went, everyone wanted to know about the deployment, ask him questions, and learn about what he would be doing for the next 9 months!
It was so awesome that everyone was interested, but, an impending deployment is not an Army wife’s favorite dinner conversation topic. 
Let’s just say, I spent a lot of time refilling my wine glass through the last few weeks of December.

Once we returned home to NC after our holiday tour of 2011, we spent our New Year’s Eve together, just the two of us. It was SO NICE to just relax and pig out on the couch together, in our own home, after two and a half weeks of running the road and staying at people’s houses.
That New Year’s Eve, will probably always be one of my favorites. It was our first one as a married couple, and we spent it alone, relaxed at home. Some of my favorite memories from the night was just us sitting there cracking jokes together over what was on the t.v. 
Remember the show on TLC about the 30 year old virgins first kiss on their wedding day? Yeah. We had a lot of fun with that one. (see photos here: {Happy New Year})

January also meant that February was around the corner, which meant that “D-day” was coming up too. (deployment.)
I would be lying if I said that January was a “good month”. I had a harder time the month before deployment than I did at almost any point DURING the deployment! I was flipping out that our days together were running out, and to make matters worse, he was working super late, every night the month of January and February. (Like, not getting home until 9-10 at night, and leaving for work again before 5 the next day.) He was exhausted from working, I was exhausted from worrying, and I just wasn’t sure what to think about the whole “military thing”.
I specifically remember thinking, 

Looking back now, I wish I could tell myself to R E L A X, because, I was about to kick this deployment’s ass. I was about to handle this thing like a seasoned Military wife pro, but, at the time, I just couldn’t get past the thought of him leaving.

January was a month of a lot of unknowns for me. Regardless of the looming deployment I still managed to make some really awesome memories. We went on a ton of dates, and went ahead and did the extra things, spent a little extra money, and enjoyed our time together.
Week in review posts from January: 
{Week 1} {Week 2} {Week 3} {Week 4}

Our moms (the giggle sisters) came down to NC for a hilarious/fun visit too. Their visit was definitely a bright spot in the month of January! We all had such a good time shopping, lunching, hanging out, visiting THE CREEPIEST random museum I’ve ever been to, and just goofing off in general. It’s always fun to have your moms come take care of you :)
They also surprised us one night and basically unpacked, arranged, and organized our house for us while we were asleep!
If going to bed with an unpacked house and waking up to an organized crib doesn’t make your month, I’m not sure what would.
(Read about their visit here:)
{the giggle sisters are coming to town}
{the time we got lost in a creepy museum}
{spoiled rotten}

January was a hard month for me emotionally. It kind of was a culmination of many things. 2011 was an amazing year, but it was JAM PACKED with changes, and stressful situations. They say wedding planning, and moving are two of the most stressful things you can do in your life, and we planned a wedding in 3 months, followed by 3 moves in 6 months. That’s a lot for anyone! Toss in a deployment, and you’re asking for a freak out.

Regardless of the stress inducing things I dealt with that month, I still have some really awesome memories of fun date nights with my hubs, and hilarious moments with the giggle sisters.

So, thank you January. I’m hoping our next go around will be a leeeelte bit better! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012: A year in review

2012 has been a crazy year for me. Good, but crazy.
At the beginning of 2012, I was having a hard time looking forward to the year ahead. Snookums and I were newly married and I was about to send him off to Afghanistan for 9 months.
It would be our first deployment, and I just was NOT looking forward to it. (Could you blame me?)

However, now looking back over the year, that very deployment is what shaped my entire year. All my best and worst moments were somehow tied in with it. But, for just as many “no fun” moments it supplied, it also made available some of the GREATEST moments of the year!

Yes, it definitely SUCKED having him away. It was hard on both of us. But, because my husband was deployed, it brought us closer, it made us a team!
2012 and our deployment provided the time, and funds for me to do a lot of traveling, and enjoy some really cool experiences with my friends and with my family! Without that time, I would have missed out on some once in a lifetime events! 
(One example is seeing my brother graduate Navy boot camp!)

It also allowed me a lot of alone time, to figure some things out for myself, dabble in some of my hobbies, and start to really decide how I want my career and life to play out. 
(Of course, no matter how well laid our plans are, they will ALWAYS change.)

2012 taught me A LOT about my husband, our marriage, and it taught me a TON about myself.
2012 really made the phrase “you find out who your friends are” ring true. It taught me that your family will always be there, it helped open my eyes to the way things work, and also helped me “draw a line in the sand” about other things. In 2012, I learned how to stand up for myself.

I grew up a lot in 2012. I learned that a positive attitude is important, and decided that speaking positive, and surrounding yourself with likeminded people is 90% of the battle in being happy.

I learned what it truly means to MISS someone, I learned what it feels like to be totally helpless, and I learned how it felt to have no control over things.

I experienced true JOY and RELIEF after finally seeing my husband safe and sound in front of me again. I also learned thankfulness.

I did a "Top 11 of 2011" post, last year, which you can read HERE. But, this year I am going to do something a little different.

For the next 12 posts, I’m going to look back on each month. It will not only be a way for me to relive a few of my favorite memories of the year, but it will also help remind me of what I learned along the way!

2012 was a very good year for me, even with the deployment. Looking back, it was honestly a BLAST.
I hope 2013 holds just as many “lessons” as 2012 did.

Happy New Year!